Vietnamese are very attentive about their health condition. Besides taking care of their daily calories by consuming more greens in their daily meals, they also do a lot of exercise whenever possible. From simple stretching at home to high-end working out, 4.00am morning exercise to late night in gymnasium, Vietnamese are taking any chances to be healthy and enjoying their life. As an expatriate in Saigon, there are many forms of exercise you can do and it will be great if you can join locals for your health training.
4 AM Morning Exercise in the Park
“Home-Self” Gym Tools
For some Vietnamese who come from a high income background, spending money on a“Home-Self” gym is one of their necessities in doing exercise. Gymnasium tools and other stuff such as abs exercise and treadmill machine easily can be purchased in shopping mall or sports centre with price between VND 10,000,000 up to VND 30,000,000.
But for younger people who are not earning, home-made workout tools is common. They are creating their “home made dumbbell”, “home made pull up bar” and many other tools from recycle items and cement to make it heavy.
“Low Cost” Gymnasium
There are many “Low Cost” gymnasiums available in town with minimal monthly membership around VND150,000 to VND400,000 per month. This gymnasium is really attracting young generations such as high school students, university students and general workers. These places normally do not really have certified trainers and do not have any specific instruction for the members. Most of them are into self-training and following what others did. There are some gym members says that, “Young Vietnamese Man” always dream to have nice muscles as short as 3 months because they want to show off to their friends or girlfriends. Even worse, some of them are taking some illegal steroids to help them gaining muscle in a quick way.
Premier Fitness Centre
California Fitness and Yoga Centre, Star Fitness at The Manor and Saigon River Club at Saigon Pearl Apartments are among premier choices for expatriate and high income Vietnamese. If you are looking for more privacy while doing your workout, health clubs in five star hotels such as The Rex Hotel and Caravelle hotel do have a good deal for outsider membership. Average fees for gymnasium membership are around VND1,000,000 to VND2,000,000 monthly. This fee is all-inclusive for the usage of sauna room, steam room, free wi-fi and access to swimming pool. The fitness centres normally have strict rules and regulations to the members, high quality equipment, full air-conditioning and do provide a certified personal trainer.
Aerobics is a popular form of exercise among young Vietnamese girls and aging women. This aerobic exercise can be done under roofed classes or open class at sidewalk areas. It is a common scene in many parks around the town in between 6.00am to 7.00am and 5.30pm to 7.00pm daily and you will see groups of women doing their aerobic exercise routine with loudspeaker sound and energy booming dance music. Some classes in public are free of charge or by donation, while indoor classes normally come with minimal monthly fees.
Starts by belly dancing on early 2009 and faded by existing of pole dancing and chair dancing the year after, dancing is one of option for Vietnamese to keep fit themselves. However, negative feedbacks from traditional Vietnamese communities about these dance routines leads for some misunderstandings and most of the dancers doing this exercise in only private practice.
Ballroom dancing is in the top demand among local and young expatriate communities in Vietnam. As young people love the sexy move or tango and salsa, older generation prefer something slower and more intimation such as waltz dance routine. There are dance classes which is popular among expatriate and Vietnamese overseas such as DanCenter at 53 Nguyen Dang Gai Street, District 2 and La Habana at No.6 Cao Ba Quat, in District 1. Free classes are also available every evening around 6.00pm at 23/9 Park or Le Van Tam Park with some groups normally present there to practice their dance routine. Your basic Vietnamese language will help you to mix and join the group.
Yoga & Tai Chi
As yoga is popular among the young generation, Tai Chi is popular among senior citizens. This exercise is basically to help people to improve their concentration and maintaining good health. There are many private Yoga teachers available in Vietnam, either foreigners or local Vietnamese trainers for you to choose.
In short, no matter what nationality you are, you deserve to enjoy a healthy life and life longer. It will be no use if you have a lot of money, but you did not rewarding yourself by investing for your health and get sick at the end of the day.